Safaricom is Testing Voice over Broadband and VoWifi for Internet Calls

Safaricom Home Fibre Router
Safaricom Home Fibre Router

Safaricom has announced that it is trialing VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi), which enables fibre to the customer’s home/building to make voice calls using fixed network. Roll-out to customers is currently underway.

Once it fully goes official, we will notify you and test it for a deeper assessment.

VoLTE and VoBB

Safaricom has revealed it has more than 700,000 VoLTE (Voice over LTE) daily active users. This, reportedly, accounts for 6 percent of the carrier’s total voice traffic. This reveal was made during the release of Safaricom’s Sustainability Report for FY22.

The telco announced VoLTE more than three years ago. It allows customers to make clear voice and video calls over a 4G connection. According to Safaricom, VoLTE allows customers to have 3 times better phone call quality over 3G, or 6 times better than 2G.

It has also launched voice-over broadband (VoBB). This allows Safaricom customers to interact by audio through an internet connection, rather than through an analog connection. VoBB converts the voice signal used in traditional phone technology into a digital signal that travels through the internet instead of through analog telephone lines.

5G and 4G

Safaricom has since revealed that it has been facing a number of challenges as far as 5G deployment is concerned. The 4G successor was anticipated to go live sometime this year, but that will likely not happen because the telco chose to focus more on 4G expansion, which now reaches 97 percent of the Kenya population. The reason for the delay has been attributed to the high cost of 5G handsets.

Safaricom says it has been freeing up the existing 4G radio network to fully cater to mobile consumers while the fixed wireless access (FWA) enjoy the superior experience of 4G time-division duplexing (TDD) and 5G networks. This has been done following continuous monitoring of fibre to the home and fixed long-term evolution FWA and migrating FWA customers to 4G TDD.

IoT and eSIM

The telco has also been ramping up IoT deployment, and in 2021, the telco launched eSIM for customers who may need them.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]


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